Gulf states look eastwards as US influence wanes, says expert

Dubai: Since the election of US president Barack Obama, concern has been raised repeatedly in Gulf states about the US’ commitment to the security and the strategic importance of the region. More recent US positions however have sounded alarms in Gulf capitals that America may be abandoning its Gulf allies.

The US and the Gulf states’ very publicly diverging positions on the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, its reluctance to go to war with Syria and its most recent attempt at a rapprochement with Iran is likely to evoke fears of an American “grand bargain” with Iran at the expense of the Gulf.

Professor Tim Niblock of the University of Exeter, a leading academic of Gulf Studies, says the Gulf fears are there and they are well founded. Continue reading

Washington and Europe rush headlong towards accepting a nuclear Iran

The Iranian delegation arrived at the UN General Assembly in New York this week to an enthusiastic Western welcome led by the Obama administration, without having rescinded one iota of its aggressive policies or nuclear ambitions.

“We welcome an Iran ready to engage seriously through that (diplomatic) process given that it represents the international community’s commitment to hold Iran accountable, but also being open to a diplomatic resolution.”

This convoluted message was how Ben Rhodes, US Deputy National Security Adviser, referred Monday, Sept. 23, to the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s get-together with Iranian Mohammad Javad Zarif Thursday, along with foreign ministers of the five world powers. Continue reading